Friday night I decided to finish up my Christmas shopping. I really only had my roommate Miss Parker left to shop for. I had had several really fantastic ideas of things to get for her, but at various stages of each operation, things had fallen through. So I found myself wandering The Gateway Friday night searching for the perfect gift. I never did find the perfect gift, probably because I was supremely bitter about all the previous failures. But I found some good stuff and I was feeling pretty good about the whole situation when I walked past the movie theater. I decided that instead of going home to my List of Things To Do that took up an entire page from a legal pad, I would see a movie. I bought tickets for The Family Stone and went to find a seat.
I had thought, with King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia open, no one would want to see a small dramedy with Sarah Jessica Parker, but I had thought wrong. I found myself at the end of a substantial line comprised mostly of groups of women and couples. Only then did I begin to feel self-conscious about being by myself. I have been to movies alone before, things no one I knew wanted to see, but usually on some random afternoon when most people were otherwise engaged. I’ve never really thought twice about it, but there is something about standing alone in line on a Friday night that made the Chick Flick Coffee Klatch standing in front of me and the married couple standing behind me give me a Look. The Look to which I refer is a mixture of awe, confusion, and pity, related to the one I get when people realize I’m a single 27 year-old living in Utah. Only this had more confusion and less pity.
As I waited for the show to start, overhearing various conversations of people around me, I realized what a social event going to a movie theater is. There was no one for me to chat with as the annoying pre-preview commercials ran, no one with whom to whisper about the actual previews, and no one with whom to share my confusion over Claire Danes getting first billing. I hadn’t even known she was in the movie. Not that any of this will keep me from seeing a movie by myself again. It only serves to remind me what social beings we humans are.